There’s no doubt about it, potato salad is a classic that’s made for al fresco summer meals. From picnics and barbecues to potlucks and family dinners, a simple potato salad recipe can easily nourish a crowd with just a handful of ingredients.
This particular potato salad recipe comes courtesy of Alison and Jay Carroll, who prepared the dish for us during our team’s visit to their Joshua Tree home. And when we say it’s beyond simple, we mean it. The recipe calls for just 6 ingredients, bringing all the summer flavors we crave to the party. Our team was stunned by its elegant simplicity—with no mayo in sight.
Alison Carroll’s Simple Potato Salad with Smoked Chili Aioli
This recipe subs mayonnaise for olive oil— a twist that I’ll be incorporating into all of my potato salad ventures in the future. It makes this dish feel less heavy and ten times healthier. The simple chili aioli also packs plenty of heat that complements the potatoes and soft-boiled eggs perfectly.
Searching for an aesthetic twist on a classic Southern dish? Look no further.
10 small Yukon gold potatoes
smoked chile pepper
1 clove garlic
salt & pepper
pickled garlic scapes*
Heat oven to 375 F. Puncture the potatoes with the tines of a fork. Rub with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Place in a skillet and roast until they are fork tender. While the potatoes are cooking, make the aioli. You can certainly use a whisk or mortar and pestle and some good ol’ elbow grease to get the job done, but when I’m hosting I want the ease of a food processor.
Start by grating the garlic clove into the bowl of the processor. Add the juice of one lemon and allow to macerate for a few minutes. Add the yolks of 2 eggs, a pinch of the smoked chile pepper, and a pinch of salt and blend to combine. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, the slowest stream into the mix so it’ll emulsify. Loosen with a few drops of water if needed. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Set aside.
Soft boil the remaining 3 eggs by bringing a small pot of water to a rapid boil and lowering in the eggs and cooking for 8 minutes for a slightly jammy yolk. Cool in an ice bath, peel, and cut into quarters.
When the potatoes are done, cut them up into irregular shapes. Toss with a lot of olive oil and the garlic scapes or capers (2 tablespoons worth will do). Add the black pepper and fresh dill with a heavy hand. Serve with the smoked chile aioli on the side or spoon onto a shallow bowl and pour the potatoes on top.
*I pickled the garlic scapes in advance. You could make a simple brine, or just soak overnight in some vinegar in the fridge. I cut mine up and re-purposed some pickle brine I had in the fridge for 2 days. A handful of capers would also do nicely for some salty-pickled punch.